Thursday, May 15, 2014

Meyers Manx receives electric powertrain and a big honor

Meyers Manx prototype and Manx V

The Meyers Manx is one of the iconic vehicles of the 1960s and is partially responsible for popularizing the dune buggy. Now, the car has another accolade to add to its history. Company founder Bruce Meyers' original 1964 Manx prototype, nicknamed Old Red, is the second vehicle added to the National Historic Vehicle Register. The first one to make it onto the list was Shelby Daytona Coupe CSX2287.

Meyers' prototype Manx used a custom fiberglass monocoque that Volkswagen Beetle parts bolted to, but later models utilized the whole Beetle floorpan. The idea spawned a ton of copycats and became hugely popular. However, the original company went out of business in 1970. Meyers returned to the kit car world in the 2000s with Meyers Manx, Inc. offering a variety of kits to be built from VW components.

In addition to making it to the NHVR, the Manx is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a new electric dune buggy in cooperation with REV-Tec from Las Vegas, NV. At the moment, it's only a prototype called the Manx V (pictured above with Old Red) and packs an electric motor with 83.6 peak horsepower or 40 hp continuous and a 10-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery pack. The rear-wheel drive EV has a theoretical top speed of 62 miles per hour, but the company plans it as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, which limits it to 25 mph to 45 mph depending on the state. According to Autoweek, the business is aiming the V at tropical resorts and plans to release more details at the LA Auto Show in November.

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